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I first learned about Vashtie Kola around 2003 after she started dating Pharrell Williams.

Ehhhhh, I actually don’t like that I’m starting the post this way because she is soooooo much more than merely some celebrity’s ex-girlfriend. Fast-forward to 2015, Vashtie is a filmmaker, designer, DJ and an overall force to be reckoned with.

I only mention it because after seeing her circa 2003 I remember thinking: “Whoa that girl is dope! She’s not one of those precarious millennials who wakes up, proclaims they are a designer, photographer, DJ (insert any other hipster job title here), makes business cards on and starts introducing themselves as such before investing any time in learning or perfecting their new craft. She has worked as a creative consultant for Island Def Jam and Roc Nation, directed music videos by Justin Bieber and Kid Cudi, was the first woman to design a pair of Jordans, and has recently teamed up with Puma for a collabo with her own independent fashion brand, Violette New York.

She also stars in a Showtime docuseries called 3AM, which “follows a cornucopia of drag queens, artists, escorts, and other insomniacs, all trying to turn fantasy into reality.”Check out the trailer…I really don’t know how mami does it all… Ok I’m sure she owes her success to much more than her diet, but that was my smooth way of mentioning she’s vegan, #YAS!

Black Enterprise coined her “Vashtie Kola: Curator of Cool.” Vashtie is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where she studied film and grew up in Albany, New York as a first generation American of Trinidadian heritage.